Page 231 - Parallel Processing

10th Jan 2013, 5:00 AM in Bridle Gossip
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Parallel Processing
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 10th Jan 2013, 5:00 AM edit delete
We're coming into the home stretch of the Bridle Gossip arc, which is good. I've discovered there's only so much of the same freaking alignment argument I can stand to simulate in writing...

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



BadHorse 10th Jan 2013, 5:13 AM edit delete reply
I enjoyed the play between the two less-good ponies last time.

kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
So ate we getting to the "Evil, not evil" argument? Cause that one is rather fun.
darkwulf23 10th Jan 2013, 6:20 AM edit delete reply
Those are always fun. For example.

In order for something to be good or evil they first must be a free thinking individual, aka there actions must be ruled by thought, not instinct. Second they must have the ability to chose. So someone who can only commit evil because he has no choice technically is only commenting his natural instincts and is more a force of nature than anything else. Third, his morality and alignment is usually determined by society. That is where the conflict arises because most people ask, which society? For example a drow torturing and sacrificing for her god Loth is considered good by the Drow society because she is doing what is socially acceptable and lawfully demanded by her culture and kingdom, where as a drow who has forsaken the teaching of Loth and has ran away to the surface to assist and protect the natural enemy of their societies would be considered evil. So in the end good and evil is really just subjective.
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 6:50 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, let's ignore that this is a system where Gods exist and Good and Evil are actual metaphysical substances that can actually be observed!

In D&D morality is absolute. I don't let my PCs get away with that "relativistic" crap in a setting where literal embodiments of justice can come down from the heavens and punch evil in the face.

I meant more along the lines of "Evil doesn't mean everything you do if bad!" That's cartoon evil, not real evil.
Lyntermas 10th Jan 2013, 9:26 AM edit delete reply
So it would be more accurate to say (going by kriss1989's theory) that torture is always "evil", it's just that Loth and drow society reward evil acts.

One of the main problems with the "absolute" argument was covered in one of Spoony's Counter Monkey videos: what do you do with orc babies? On the one hand, the Monster Manual (and, by extension, the world) say that orcs are Always Chaotic Evil. On the other hand, orc babies haven't done anything yet. While one may theorize that orc babies may grow up to bad guys (at least, if raised by orc moms the orcish way), there are significant problems in assuming that an entity is born evil, rather than having done evil actions.
Demonu 10th Jan 2013, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
1) Take Orc baby
2) Raise it to be the most stereotypical paladin ever
3) Thoroughly confuse everyone you ever meet
4) ???
5) Profit!
GrayGriffon 10th Jan 2013, 2:34 PM edit delete reply
Yes... just... Yes...
Grey Pen 10th Jan 2013, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
That is awesome.

I must steal this idea...
Grey Pen 10th Jan 2013, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
That is awesome.

I must steal this idea...
Grey Pen 10th Jan 2013, 5:38 PM edit delete reply
That is awesome.

I must steal this idea...
Grey Pen 10th Jan 2013, 5:39 PM edit delete reply
Dammit phone, why'd you re-post it so many times?! Sorry.
hrothgar 11th Jan 2013, 9:14 AM too late. edit delete reply
My brother alreadyplayed an orcish paladin. and seriously? the dude went around and asked evil doers if they repented of their ways. when they gave him a negitive response, he killed them without thought or remorse. all I could think about when he was doing this was "NO ONE EXPECTS THE ORCISH INQUASITION!!!"
Flynn 12th Jan 2013, 3:43 AM edit delete reply
On this topic... Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
Zuche 10th Jan 2013, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
No, Lyntermas, orcs are usually Chaotic Evil, while black dragons are always chaotic evil -- and always has a weasel's definition in 3E.

What you do with orc babies was well answered by an instructor at a camp I worked: treat them as you would any other baby.

It's. That. Simple.

Good is not easy. You can even make the case that it isn't always correct. Nevertheless, when you are left with the care of a creature that is all but destined to grow up as a menace to millions, you make every effort to have it grow up to become something else.

If the time comes that you have to put an end to the child you've raised, you can certainly make the case that it was necessary. That does not make it Good. If truly necessary or even just prudent, it probably isn't Evil either. Things are a lot easier when people are okay with letting it go at that.

Good isn't stupid. That's true even when we disagree with it, just as it's true even when the Good individual can't adhere to a strictly Good set of actions.
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
Zuche's got it. Good isn't easy. Heck, it's usually easier to do the evil thing, that's what makes temptation so, well, tempting. It's the easy way, or the quick way, or the simple way, or the gratifying way. Nobody ever said doing what was right was more appealing. Heck, which sounds easier, offing the kid of some other species that's generally out to kill your kind, or take on the labor of trying to raise it right, teach it morals, and protect it from the hostilities of the masses.

Some people say we're innately good, humanity, and the right thing to do calls out to us. I say we nailed our God of Love and Kindness to a stick via public vote and taunted him as he died because we wanted to score points with the local government.
darkwulf23 10th Jan 2013, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
OK, not that I have a problem with what you said but I am warning you right now. You bring religion into this, you may end up starting a flame war, and I rather not read a bunch of threads designed just to p*** each other off. Course maybe not considering Newbiespud monitors this site.

Any way ignoring what I said on my first post because that's just me screwing around, the fact that the dnd good and evil is a metaphysical substance, it is still subjective. Hell all of us at one point or another got into the what is lawful good argument. And the one who makes it the most subjective yet most absolute is the dungeon master. He alone sets the rules and draws the line of what the players can and cannot cross, while at the same time every Game Masters understanding of morality is different and it tends to be translated to how he feels it should be.
Zuche 11th Jan 2013, 9:14 AM edit delete reply
No, it is not subjective. Now if your argument is that there is no one right way to be of any given alignment, you are absolutely correct. If your argument is that two people can follow the exact same code and be of wildly different alignments, you are again correct.

But weasels seeking to affix any two shiny words to any action that tickle their fancy are not utilizing the tool in, if you'll excuse the term, good faith. Neither are the sorts of DMs that have, "Force alignment violations," on their internal list of objectives.

The ideals of a given alignment are still not subjective, and thus neither are certain actions. If you need to wipe out all life you encounter to survive, doing what you need to survive is an evil act. If your society is founded on torture and the sacrifice of sentients and you cooperate with that, you are committing evil acts. It may be proper, sensible, and logical for you to do these things, but none of those are synonyms for Good.

In 3E, even instinct and programming don't give you a pass. If they compel you to maintain order above all, why wouldn't you be lawful? If they compel you to care for the wellbeing of others, why not good? While an inability to consider the consequences of your actions generally gives you a lifetime pass to an unaligned state in such cases, there is no reason a being that exists entirely to enforce an ideal can't embody the ideal by being of the appropriate alignment.

Part of the problem may be the number of times a DM has told a player, "Your alignment has changed," based on the result of one action. It doesn't work like that. When a DM thinks like that, it is not evidence that the system is subjective, but that the DM does not understand the system.

I can play a Chaotic Evil Worshipper of a Lawful Good deity, one that tithes 20% of his earnings to temples in the belief that it will be put to Good (again, with the big G) works. The angle is that this character is treating his devotion as an excuse for otherwise tearing down the world around him. Maybe he's trying to bribe a guilty conscience. Maybe he's just obsessed with reputation. Maybe he really thinks he's paid his dues and "deserves some slack". Maybe he means to corrupt the church and maybe he doesn't.

Likewise, I can play a penny-pinching Lawful Good type who spends all of his free time in conscripting "layabouts" into "making themselves useful". With nary a kind word for other due-gooders, seeing them as people who'd rather throw money at problems than solve them, he is an abrasive hard-bargainer who makes cooperation difficult. (He thinks that just encourages people to try and take advantage of each other.) That this frequently undercuts his goals does not make him any less good. Good isn't stupid, but its idealists might be at times.

There's a lot of freedom to explore diversity between personality and alignment without trying to "game the system".
Moonrush 10th Jan 2013, 9:01 PM edit delete reply
And the fact that God of Love and Kindness indirectly caused the crusades (and the genocides in the Old Testament, more directly) definitely proves your point, with or without religion X actually being truthful.
HMorris73 11th Jan 2013, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
I thought the point was *not* to bring religion into this...
Digo 11th Jan 2013, 4:04 AM edit delete reply
Okay, to steer back to more stable covalence bond, on the subject of babies and alignment--
I have a problem with the "Always Evil" aspect of chromatic dragons. Going with the Orc example ablve, why couldn't a baby red dragon be raised up as a decent law abiding citizen?

Granted the dragon would be a large, smoke-snoring-could-eat-a-pony-in-one-bite creature, but if it were raised to be good, it would at least pay for the meal first. >_>

I think what I'm trying to say, is that the non-alignment baby scenario should be valid for any kind of sentient baby.
Of course my players hate that I never follow alignments with dragons and as such they've had to deal with things like the BBEG being a silver dragon with a giant hook and eyepatch named "SilverBeard the Terrible".

It... it was much more awesome in context. >_>
CJT 11th Jan 2013, 7:45 AM edit delete reply
If there are good dragons in the campaign I've been playing in, we've yet to hear of them (casters using "Form of the Dragon" don't count).

It's not that the dragons are evil per se.

It's that they're absurdly powerful, very territorial, and consider anything that's not them prey.

It's possible that a dragon like that might keep "pets", but unless they were raised in an already-integrated society, I'm not holding my breath for it happening (in the campaign in question).

It's not like this is limited to dragons, either. Spend a bit of time reading about the colonial phases of the various empires (British empire most recently) - we do that to each _other_.
Raxon 11th Jan 2013, 8:40 AM edit delete reply
Hmm... Orcs, gods, lawful good...

A lawful good orc priest who talks like Billy Graham. Or a lawful good orc priest who speaks with the inflection of the stereotypical southern black preacher. (I suspect the stereotype is based on a single guy, kinda like white televangelists all imitate Billy Graham. I just don't know who it is, or I'd go watch a bunch of videos or listen to recordings so I could learn the voice.)

On the other hand, a pony preacher of the works of Celestia could be hilarious.

These comments are giving me interesting ideas.
CJT 11th Jan 2013, 9:11 AM edit delete reply
You could always riff off of Mike the TV's televangelist phase from Daemon Rising.

The part where she has to pump him for information was especially hilarious.
Zuche 11th Jan 2013, 9:30 AM edit delete reply
Digo, from the ideal perspective, anything can, with proper support and example, be nutured (or rehabilitated) to develop into a good creature. Orc babies, hatchling red dragons, demon lords, beholders with successful successful dental practices... anybody.

More practical minds tend to believe you have to draw the line somewhere or you won't be able to do anyone any good. It's a special person that can do more harm than good in running the Reform School for Retired Arch-Devils. (Gowan, try to name an example.)
Guest 11th Jan 2013, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
When conversations about alignment drift into topics like nature versus nurture, you know that D&D is involved.
Digo 11th Jan 2013, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
I tend to draw the line at the Prime Material Plane. :3 Anything outside that is fair game for the slaughter.
Zuche 11th Jan 2013, 1:15 PM edit delete reply
Oh, sure, everyone has boundaries. There are a lot of Chaotic Evil types that would draw the line before most of the things that happened behind the closed doors of an abyssal settlement too, right? :)

Besides, when it comes to the motivations that would compel someone to attempt a demon lord's rehabilitation, three of the big ones are a) folly, b) madness, and c) arrogance. It would be a rare individual who didn't qualify for at least two of those before making the attempt.

For some reason, this is starting to stound like a discussion of the next episode.
darkwulf23 11th Jan 2013, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Actually I have thoughts about the usually chaotic evil vs. always chaotic evil and I used the whole raising babies as a definition. Anyway the way I see is always chaotic evil is nature, usually chaotic evil is nurture. For example, if you can take a races infant away from an evil society and raise them up to be good with little difficulty, then they are usually, however, if no matter what you did they grow up to become complete monsters, if not trying to strangle or eat you from the crib itself, then it is always. Now there are exceptions to the always but I usually figure that the are mental anomalies that changes their personalities that is different from their peers, the same way sociopathy is a mental disorder for humans.
darkwulf23 11th Jan 2013, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
However, right now I think I have to voice the opinions of some of the vocal players that I have played with a few times, just to throw a curveball into the topic.

Ahem: "I don't want to discuss morality with you guys, I just came here to kill some orcs!"
kriss1989 11th Jan 2013, 6:17 PM edit delete reply
Chromatic Dragons are a good example of instinctive evil, as they are abandoned when laid. Once the eggs hatch, you get a creature ranging from the size of a dog to a pony that can speak, walk, fly, has a basic understanding of the world, and is a top tier predator that sees nothing wrong with killing meat that can speak back. The only real exception to this is that Blue dragons raise their kids...mafia style "family business" type deal. That's why they're the LE dragons. Black and Green are neutral evil, though Black tends more towards chaos since it often "plays" with its food and Green tend toward lawful with scheming and deception coming naturally to them. Whites are CE because they aren't the brightest of dragons and are more emotional and impulsive, with nasty tempers and a love for violence. Reds are the worst, and are CE. They are so large and powerful that very little can challenge them. They are powerful, cunning, masters of magic, and their very appearance can send their foes into full flight via magical fear. They are CE because as far as they are concerned whatever they feel like doing they can do and that nothing can stop them. And what they feel like doing is cruel and destructive.
Renegade Author 12th Jan 2013, 3:06 AM edit delete reply
So you are saying that Drizzt is the most evil thing in the world by drow understanding of course. i love getting references :3
Digo 10th Jan 2013, 5:31 AM edit delete reply
Last panel is hilarious and speaks to me on a personal level. :D
I can also hear Dash's player mumbling in the background "Dang it Rarity!"

In my group, alignment arguments seem to reside specifically with D&D. Other systems we play are GURPS, d20 Modern, and Shadowrun, all of which don't have a written alignment system. Seems when left unwritten, alignment doesn't become a major OoC issue and playing characters with conflicting alignments is actually easier!
Kynrasian 10th Jan 2013, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Well the problem is that some players when given no alignment system default to the stereotypical variant of Chaotic Neutral ("Rebellious Not-So-Evil")

As it stands, my party seems to think that any alignment with the word "good" in it, or for that matter "lawful", means that they have to behave in that manner, as in the stereotypical "holier-than-thou" paladin who insists on helping every innocent or helpless villager and calling everyone who isn't a saint evil.
Digo 10th Jan 2013, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
The Chaotic Neutral default is half true of my group. I generally default to Chaotic Good, my wife to Neutral Good, and we have one player who goes Lawful Evil.
However, it does still stand from personal experience that CN is the most popular default for non-laigned systems. :)

AttentionDeficitGuy 10th Jan 2013, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, this is why, if I ever get around to DMing my first game, I'm going to make a house-rule barring my PCs from using the Chaotic Neutral alignment. That seems to be the one from which most (if not all) of the debates keep springing (I know at least that half the time, people who claim to be playing Chaotic Neutral usually end up with something much closer to Neutral Evil)
Akouma 10th Jan 2013, 2:35 PM edit delete reply
My issue with alignment is when systems have strict alignment restrictions associated with class/race, in exchange for insane amounts of power. Paladins in pre-4th systems are a great example. My main issue here is that it's waaaaaaaay too easy to bend aligments to what you want to do regardless of how against your alignment basic logic dictates it is. I'm not going to say you're a horrific power gamer for playing something with an alignment restriction, but you should play to your alignment if you're in a system with them.
Metool 11th Jan 2013, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
Tangentially related, I found a d20 variant that eschews alignments, among other things *coughnonsensicaleconomycough*. I have permission from one of the devs to quote the text on the Paladin and its iconic Paladin ability. Sorry for the textwall.

All paladins draw strength from the concept of justice – but that means different things for different people. Some paladins serve the law, capturing criminals and taking them to the authorities. Others take the law into their own hands, and mete out punishment to those they consider wicked. Whatever a paladin’s cause may be, their dedication to that cause gives them supernatural strength and resilience that strikes fear into the most die-hard criminal.
Justice is the calling of a paladin. For some, this drives them to be paragons of law and good. For others, it twists them to seek to mete out vicious and unusual punishments.
One’s creed will demand sacrifices, and they must be made. It may come to pass that a paladin must choose between two acts that are both reprehensible to his or her creed. The paladin suffers no penalties for making a choice in such a situation. Some may thereafter seek redemption or atonement, but this is not a mechanical requirement.
Each paladin has a subtly different creed, in all likelihood, even if they swore the same oaths to the same order. Repeated violations of a paladin’s creed may lead to situations where the paladin is at odds with his or her order, league, or simply to his or her conscience.

[The Paladin gains the following ability at 1st level, plus one other class ability, chosen from a set (Extraordinary smiting, heal-turrets, buddy cop, spell-share aura), and another class ability from the same set at 2nd level. These abilities alternate advancement every 3 levels until level 20. The Paladin doesn't fill as many roles as it does in 3.5, but what it does do, it does well.]
Knowing (Su): You are aware, in the general sense, of the moral and ideological predilections of any sentient creature within a radius of 15 ft plus an additional 5 ft per [3 levels]. This effect is an emanation, is not a divination effect, and is always on. It does not automatically penetrate invisibility, concealment, or stealth, but if you can otherwise circumvent these effects, it will function unimpeded. Likewise, you become aware in a limited sense of likely major moral consequences of your actions. This takes the form of prescient flashes of meaningless images, and while reliable, it is not deterministic. In cases where the creed’s meaning is unclear, you may get no forewarning. This grants a +4 bonus to Awareness (think passive perception) and to active Perception checks. [If you have the spell-share aura, you share this ability with allies within your spell-share aura.]

For those curious, Legend is an almost-finished universal system that arose from a 3.5 battle arena's banlist that was meant to cover all the imbalances in the system (no more caster-martial disparity!), available at for free, with occasional drives held for Child's Play children's charity.

And finally, it's up to you whether you are a raging barbarian, an angry space marine, or a rabid pony without a cause.
ANW 10th Jan 2013, 5:48 AM edit delete reply
First:I like how the DM can muti-task Dash's rolls, and playing as Zecora.
Poll time:
Don't worry, no rhymes.
Which of the mane 6 whould you like to date.
This is diffent from the last time.
Just because you like a pony, doesn't mean you will date him/her.
I would love to go on a date with Rairty, even though she is second and Fluttershy is first.
Best pony gets a date.
Tommorow, 8:00. the results comes out.
JohnBobMead 10th Jan 2013, 6:17 AM edit delete reply
First, I'm way too old for any of them, at 52. But it would be Twilight Sparkle that I'd like to date. Being the intellectual librarian type.
Digo 10th Jan 2013, 7:20 AM edit delete reply
Maybe better if ANW wrote it as "A person with their personality type" so that it doesn't come off as weird to anyone?

In my past experience, I've dated the personality types of Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy. My wife is mostly an Applejack type.

kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
Fluttershy. She's just adorable!
DoubleCross 10th Jan 2013, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Well, I'd love to date the author, but he's unavailable due to time and distance. And time distance.

Eight hours of it.
CJT 10th Jan 2013, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
Of the Mane 6?

Probably Twilight, as she's an academic, bright, and has adequate amounts of common sense (most of the time). Downsides are obsessive scheduling and (if it wasn't a Discord-trauma-induced one-off in Lesson Zero) occasional insanity.

Fluttershy would be second place, but her anxiety attacks would be a deal-breaker, as would her doormat tendencies ("partnership-of-equals" only works with someone willing to call me out on any mistakes I make).

Realistically, though, none of the above. Most of the Mane 6, if ported into the real world, would meet the DSM criteria for mental illness. Even a relatively realistic cartoon like FiM still involves personalities that are exaggerated charicatures of the real world.

And that's a shame, because most of the ponies given screen time in FiM are nice enough to make an average human look downright evil by comparison.
Tatsurou 10th Jan 2013, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
Of the Mane 6, taking into account everything of their personalities...I would actually rather date Applejack.

WHile Twilight is very intellectual, she's also very stubborn, and heated academic debate doesn't sound like my idea of a good time when really we're just compeeting to see who's more stubborn.
FLuttershy is adorable, but - given I'm a stranger to her - it would be hard to get to know someone who acts like you're Jack the Ripper for saying "Hi!" a little too loudly.
Rainbow Dash is very sporty and fun, but she's also a little too aggressive and competitive. Romance shouldn't be a contest.
Pinkie Pie would be fun, but I also enjoy some downtime, and she doesn't seem to know the meaning of the word most days (not including the "Too Many Pinkies" exhaustion).
Rarity I can't click with at all, as I completely ignore fashion.
Applejack is calm, assertive, playful, and sincere. She works hard, but also knows how to take it easy. THat, and she also aseems to be the most stable of the Mane 6, and as I'm not that good at social ques, it would be nice to date someone who will just flat out tel me if I'm doing something right/wrong.

ALthough personally, I'd much rather date Luna. XD
CJT 11th Jan 2013, 7:50 AM edit delete reply
From the looks of things almost all of us would date Luna, so I'm not sure she counts :).

(My main misgiving is that I'm uncomfortable dating someone of much higher social standing than I am. Made things awkward when ex #2 told me what her tax bracket was.)
Dusk Raven 10th Jan 2013, 5:03 PM edit delete reply
Rainbow Dash, for me. While she may have a personality opposite to mine, I don't think that's a bad thing. Given that I'm like a combination of Twilight and Fluttershy without the former's work ethic, someone more... assertive and driven (and driving) is who I look for.
Torquelift 10th Jan 2013, 6:01 PM edit delete reply
Twilight Sparkle. Nothing I like more than a good academic debate, though she'd probably wipe the floor with me the first few times. The occasional bout of insanity I think I could handle with some straight talk and *maybe* a therapist. Ok, definitely a therapist. And a strong drink.
Sus 10th Jan 2013, 8:47 PM edit delete reply
Out of everypony in the show?
Her Most Metal Highness, Princess Luna. Because forceful + adorkable = the sexy has been doubled!

Out of the Mane Six?
Twilight Sparkle, hands down. What can I say, I just have a thing for my fellow geeks. (Although given both Twi and I have a tendency to slip into full-on Mad Scientist Mode when sufficiently fascinated by something, I see how that could end badly... for everypony else, at least.)
ShadowDragon8685 11th Jan 2013, 3:16 AM edit delete reply
Damn, how can one choose?

Hrm.. I think I'd probably have the best luck with Twilight, given that she's likely to be completely awkward about things, just like me...

But I have to cast my vote for Princess Luna, too.
Walabio 12th Jan 2013, 8:11 PM After days of consideration, I choose. … edit delete reply
… FlutterShy:

It took me days to make up mine mind because I was torn between TwiLlight Sparkle in “Friendship Is Magic Part # Ⅰ” and FlutterShy as she is now. I decided that I have to take the mares as they are now, so FlutterShy:

I love reading and I find socializing stressful, so TwiLight Sparkle from “Friendship Is Magic Part # Ⅰ” seems perfect; we could be reclusive reading books together. But TwiLight Sparkle is no longer asocial.

Although FlutterShy is not into books, she mostly keeps to herself and her animals. I could see a quiet life with her.

Notice that I had trouble choosing between mares. Perhaps a Plurality-Vote is not best. I wonder what we would get if we would use both Score-Voting and a ranked ballot. We could add up the scores, run the ranked ballots through Condorcet and Borda-Count and see what the results would be under these systems.
Zuche 10th Jan 2013, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Sorry to hear Bridle Gossip was such a chore, Newbiespud. If there's a plus side... it steered the storyline away from the subject of racism?
DoubleCross 10th Jan 2013, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
It didn't at all. You still have the episode visuals and Zecora being a zebra is in this continuity now a conscious choice of the Game Master. The other players at the beginning of the arc clearly recognise that that is still the subject and the alignment argument is essentially an argument of 'did our GM follow all of these stereotypes or just -some- of them?'.
Zuche 10th Jan 2013, 7:10 AM edit delete reply
That was the starting point. It's not where we are now. The issue at hand now is what Zecora's been doing, not who she is.
DoubleCross 10th Jan 2013, 8:00 AM edit delete reply
And most of that stuff is still tied into stereotype, which is the problem with the character in general...
Zuche 10th Jan 2013, 1:52 PM edit delete reply
No. The elder monk put that woman down at the river's edge. You're the one who's still carrying her.
CantThinkOfAName 10th Jan 2013, 6:45 AM <roll>, <roll>, <roll>, <roll>, <roll> edit delete reply
The DM making rolls in the background is always veeeery suspicious.
Digo 10th Jan 2013, 7:22 AM edit delete reply
That is why I always advise DMs to fake a few background rolls on occasion. Keeps the players wondering what's about to happen, therefore they stay focused.
Bronymous 10th Jan 2013, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Oh hey, you know what we should do? Discuss Alignment! It's such novel idea, I can't believe we haven't done it before now.

kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 7:19 AM edit delete reply
And the winner of "Best Sarcasm in the New Year" goes too...
Zuche 10th Jan 2013, 7:31 AM edit delete reply
Who? Who gets it?
The Batman 10th Jan 2013, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
My money's on Digo.
sunbeam 10th Jan 2013, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
I dunno, I'm feeling Raxon here...
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 10:50 PM edit delete reply
Darn it Sunbeam! You ruined the suspense. So yeah, come on down Raxon, you've won Best Sarcastic Comment of the New Year. You've also won Most Disturbing Mental Image of the New Year for the hutt lumberjack.
Digo 11th Jan 2013, 4:07 AM edit delete reply
"Most Disturbing Image" indeed. Don't think there was any competition there. :D
Zuche 11th Jan 2013, 1:25 PM edit delete reply
I'm really not seeing the horror of it. The best I get is the inspiration for a Kama Sutra style book I'd probably call... the Baba Yaga.
kriss1989 11th Jan 2013, 6:21 PM edit delete reply
Grandmother Crone? Really?
Zuche 12th Jan 2013, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Absolutely. Her association with a Hut(t) may be the most infamous of all!
Giggle Tail 10th Jan 2013, 9:36 AM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
One thing that always confuses me about alignment is the difference between neutral good and chaotic good. Obviously in some cases it's pretty clear-cut, such as a vigilante who kills bad guys, or a rebel fighting against an evil tyrant.

But what about cases where a do-gooder is just kind of eccentric? Or just concerns themselves with doing the right thing in any situation regardless of what the law says? Are they still chaotic good, or are they neutral good since they don't constantly go out of their way to break the law?
CJT 10th Jan 2013, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
That depends on how you interpret the law/chaos axis. Someone who's chaotic doesn't necessarily feel that all laws are horrible things - they just resent people trying to apply laws to _them_.

It's similar to the question of whether someone utterly _uncaring_ of others' suffering, willing to throw people under the bus for their own gain, counts as "evil" or just "neutral" because they don't make people suffer for _fun_.

If you're looking for alignments that apply to more than a vanishingly small fraction of individuals, I'd go with the broader interpretation. Not all evil people are sadistic demons, and not all chaotic people are full-time anarchists.

Your mileage may vary. I'm mostly going by 3.x/Pathfinder interpretations, and I realize 4e changed things.
TheStratovarian 10th Jan 2013, 9:57 AM edit delete reply
Law focus is a code or some form that a person seeks to default to that first.

A soldiers chain of command. A priests vow. A samurai's code of honor.

Those are more lawful minded foci. A neutral outlook is asking, which is more able to be done for my ease? The law is a nice guideline to them, usable, as they need to.

A doctors creed to help all that need it, or a washy politician are neutral outlooks. They are more self oriented, but can be altruistic as need be as well. Or even simply uncaring to following or going against an established operandi.

Chaos implies in some form a defiance of an established constant. Change is never a bad thing, but as its diametrically opposed at some level, there is a reason why someone chaotic is opposed. The madman, yes, fall in here, but chaos is not an opposing to law as much as seeking a different path for something that has defined them in a good or bad way.

I tend to speak from the lawful mindset here. So my words should be taken with a good bit of salt.
terrycloth 10th Jan 2013, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
Lawful people think that rules are good and should always be followed -- maybe with rare exceptions, but they'll feel bad for breaking a rule in itself, even if the rule is bad or obviously not applicable.

Chaotic people think that rules are bad, basically. They'll look for excuses to break them, preferably in ways that demonstrate that following them is stupid. Chaotic *good* people care about other peoples' welfare, so any time a rule or authority figure causes any harm to anyone they'll feel personally offended.

This doesn't mean they'll break every law ever but the thought of changing their behavior because somebody told them to is like asking a good person to murder a baby. You'd better have some pretty serious consequences to threaten them with if you expect it to happen.

Neutral good people don't really care about laws and rules, they just want to do whatever they can to help. They don't have any problem following good or at least harmless laws and they don't have any problem making exceptions when it seems expedient.
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
Eccentric behavior isn't chaotic, it's a personal quirk. As for the L/N/C Good argument, I see it as follows:

Lawful Good believes that a structured society with FAIR and JUST rules is an ideal society. An ordered world where everything works together like a well oiled machine to make life better for everyone. They want life to be fair, just, and for those in need to know who to turn to for aid. They want to help the helpless, and smite those who would harm the innocent.

Neutral Good are altruistic, giving aid to those in need. They usually don't have a big end goal in mind, they help those in front of them because it's the right thing to do. In an idealic NG world, people would all help each other out when they can simply because it's the right thing to do. If the rules help people great, let's get more of those. If the rules hurt them, chuck em'. They don't care about smiling evil so much as just helping others, and smiteing might just be incidental.

Chaotic Good believe in a sort of innate goodness in people; that if left to their own devices they would chose to do the right thing, and that if given the oportunity anyone can take care of themselves. In an ideal CG world, everyone gets along fine with everyone else, each going along doing their own thing, and are capable of taking care of themselves. Those that abuse power and try to crush and demean others feel the wrath of CG heroes.
Giggle Tail 10th Jan 2013, 8:11 PM edit delete reply
Giggle Tail
Wow, I leave for--well, most of the day, but still--and I get this many replies....

Alright, that clears it up for me, I guess. Thanks. Just was wondering since I always struggled with whether making my characters as much like me as possible meant I should make them NG or CG. Now I'm leaning a bit toward CG.
Moonrush 10th Jan 2013, 9:10 PM edit delete reply
My favorite way of judging alignment is one that a DM of mine used; "how do you get the orc's kitten out of a tree and what do you do with it after?" The rules were as follows;
If you play fireman and give it back to the orc; Lawful Good.
If you play with fire and burn everything; Chaotic Evil.
And ect.
Kiana 11th Jan 2013, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
I need a 2 x 4 and some nails...
Kiana 10th Jan 2013, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
I can tolerate alignment debates for about ten minutes, then I get my Board of Education.

It has nails in it.
Digo 10th Jan 2013, 11:14 AM edit delete reply
This totally brings back old memories of the "Tazmania" cartoon's Bullgator and Axel.
Kiana 10th Jan 2013, 3:50 PM edit delete reply
The who and what now?
reynard61 10th Jan 2013, 5:48 PM edit delete reply

Bull-Gator and Axel can be found in "Minor Characters".
Digo 11th Jan 2013, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
What Reynard61 linked. :)

Axel was the far less intelligent of the two so BullGator often hit him with a large club or board when Axel said something stupid. Occassionally it would have something written on said club, like "The Educator".
*Sigh* 10th Jan 2013, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
This may be coming from way out of left field but I keep wondering where exactly the One Piece crew fall under in terms of alignment. Are they neutral because sometimes they follow the laws and sometimes don't? Are they Chaotic because they break the rules so often?

To bring things back to base I suppose one thing I'd say is that you don't fully realize your alignment until you reach adulthood. For example, the CMC shouldn't be classified as having an alignment because they're not big ponies. (Insert Applebloom saying, "But I AM a big pony!")
Lyntermas 10th Jan 2013, 11:43 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes follow the...THEY'RE PIRATES! The World Government is textbook Lawful Evil. The Straw Hat Pirates are diametrically opposed to their entire system. Luffy punched out a World Noble to try and disrupt a (legal) slave trade.

Yeah, they're pretty much Chaotic Good.
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 4:56 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, when you're opposing a legal slave trade and do so by punching a noble square in the face as hard as you can even though you know it'll result in fighting an army, but you do it anyway because it's the right thing to do: poster boy for CG.
Anymouse 10th Jan 2013, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
For a DATE date I'd go with Rainbow Dash. As long as it was like, just one. Because it would be the most totally awesome date guaranteed. Going out for drinks I'd say Pinkie Pie- best wingpony ever.

As for alignment, I try to keep in mind that it's a complex plane and very approximate. You can, and often will, fall on the edge between two alignments. Look at St. Cuthbert. Listed borderline LG/LN, generally nice guy except he beats people with a cudgel.
Lyntermas 10th Jan 2013, 3:51 PM edit delete reply
I just noticed the second panel. Sad Zecora is sad.:(

A bit off topic, but if you were to set up Gravity Falls as a campaign comic, what system would you use?
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 4:57 PM edit delete reply
Hunter, the modern one where you're just normal people (no powers that be choosing you like OWD) facing the bizarre.
terrycloth 10th Jan 2013, 7:21 PM edit delete reply
Probably GURPS. It's good for taking ordinary characters and then adding cross-genre madness.
Hopkins 11th Jan 2013, 3:57 PM edit delete reply
Call of Cthulu.

The insanity!
Raxon 10th Jan 2013, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
Why do I hear that last comment from the DM in Tim Curry's voice?

Reading it in his voice, I actually feel bad for Rainbow Dash.
kriss1989 10th Jan 2013, 10:53 PM edit delete reply
I'm still doing Patric Stuert's voice. "Look at me! I'm playing with ponies!"
Digo 11th Jan 2013, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
Page-Mistress 11th Jan 2013, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
That's a silly question, Raxon.

You hear it because Tim Curry is awesome.
494alex 11th Jan 2013, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
Oh God, now I'm reading everything in Curry's voice and it's GLORIOUS!

Better run over to One Piece and read the Ivankov chapters before it wears off.
JR Klein 11th Jan 2013, 10:39 AM edit delete reply
Prediction: The traps result in Dash breaking her wing and being laid up in the hospital. While Dash is stuck there, the DM writes up a little side-adventure for her player, and Daring Do is born.
kriss1989 11th Jan 2013, 6:23 PM edit delete reply
"So nopony at all took a healing class? Lame!"